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The best Hispanic actresses

2024-04-11T13:49:48+00:00
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The best Hispanic actresses / PHOTO: MundoNOW Archive
  • Our list of the best Hispanic actresses of all time.
  • Making it big in Hollywood is no easy task.
  • These actresses have managed to stand out.

The women on our list stand out for their talent and elegance.

They have overcome the numerous obstacles and stereotypes of Hollywood and triumphed in a demanding industry.

Let’s raise our glasses and toast to the best Latin and Hispanic actresses.

CHALLENGE: Do you know your Hollywood trivia? How many movies can you identify just by looking at the photos?

Best Hispanic actresses: The incomparable Salma Hayek

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PHOTO: MundoNOW Archive

In 1989, Salma Hayek made her debut in the Mexican soap opera Teresa. Since then, she has starred in several films and series — and in 2000, she founded her own production company called Ventanarosa.

Her first project in her new role as a producer won her an Academy Award nomination.

Hayek was also the producer of Frida Kahlo (2002), a huge critical and commercial cinematic success.

Throughout her career, she played the role of the sex goddess until she took on the role that won her the most prestigious award in Hollywood!

Rita Moreno is a Latina actress with a long career

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PHOTO: MundoNOW Archive

Second on our list of the best Hispanic actressers, we have an extremely talented Puerto Rican star who is a triple threat.

Rita Moreno’s career spans more than seven decades and she is still going strong.

Her repertoire includes supporting roles in the following musicals: Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The King and I (1956) and West Side Story (1961).

For the latter, she won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her memorable portrayal of Anita.

The first and only Latina actress to be an EGOT, she also has several other awards in her trophy case.

Lupita Nyong’o

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Lupita Amondi Nyong’o was born in Mexico City on March 1, 1983. Her Kenyan parents were there temporarily while her father worked as a lecturer at El Colegio de México.

In 2008, she made her Hollywood debut with East River, a short film written and directed by Marc Grey. In 2013, she played the role of Patsy in 12 Years a Slave, which instantly propelled her to stardom.

This role won her international critical acclaim, a SAG Award and an Oscar for best supporting actress.

In 2018, alongside Chadwick Boseman, she starred as Nakia in Black Panther, the second highest-grossing film of 2018 and the highest-grossing individual superhero movie in history!

Penélope Cruz

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Penélope Cruz is number four on our list of best Hispanic actresses and the fourth Oscar winner. She appeared on television for the first time at just 16.

A year later, she would co-star with none other than Javier Bardem, her future husband! She played a series of roles in various films during the 1990s and 2000s.

In 2008, she encountered a cinematic gem — the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona in which Cruz undoubtedly gave us a flawless performance.

The list of her professional achievements as an actress is extensive, and her film catalog is impressive. In 2018, the Spanish government awarded her the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, and the following year she received the Donostia Award.

Zoë Saldana is one of the best Hispanic actresses

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Another colossal talent is Zoë Saldana, a very versatile actress who can handle any role.

She has played a superhero, a lethal assassin who was once a lonely and abandoned child, an endangered Na’vi, a linguist and translator on a spaceship and the list goes on….

For some reason, she has not been very lucky when it comes to awards — but surely her day will come.

For her consistently strong, compelling and unforgettable performances, we have Saldana in fifth place on our list of iconic Latina actresses.

Eva Longoria is a charming Latina actress

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There are actresses who will always be remembered for the role that made them famous.

Such is the case for this Desperate Housewife, who rose to fame on this iconic series. Playing Gabi, the flirtatious ex-model and wine lover of Wisteria Lane, made Eva Longoria a star.

She has also made several appearances in other productions such as The Sentinel (2006), For Greater Glory (2008) and Frontera (2014) among several other films.

Longoria has also worked as an executive producer on several projects, including Devious Maids and The Harvest.

Sofía Vergara

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For seven consecutive years (2013 – 2020), the Sofia Vergara has been the highest-paid television actress.

Her portrayal of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the series Modern Family has won her international acclaim and several nominations and awards, including four SAG Awards.

A very candid Vergara stated that she did not have much luck or success at the beginning of her career in Los Angeles for not looking «Latina enough.»

However, she rose to fame in the late nineties as the presenter of the American Comedy Awards, and thus began her ascent to the stardom she currently enjoys.

Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez is sometimes criticized for her acting.

However, her absolutely stellar portrayal of Mexican singer Selena, earns JLo her spot among the best Latina actresses.

Lopez has starred in numerous films, including: Enough (2002), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Monster-in-Law (2005), The Back-up Plan (2010), Parker (2013) and many others.

She is the prototype of a multifaceted woman since she also excels as a singer and dancer. Lopez is the ultimate success story.

America Ferrera

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Ugly Betty was was America Ferrera’s breakout role. She was critically acclaimed for her portrayal of Betty Suarez from 2006 to 2010.

Later, she had roles in films like The Dry Land (2010), Our Family Wedding (2010) and End of Watch (2012). Her most recent project was Superstore, a sit-com that she starred in from 2015 until 2020.

Ferrera began laying the groundwork for her professional acting career at just 8 years old, acting in school plays and local theater. She has won Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award.

The actress, who is of Honduran descent, will always be, for us, the enthusiastic and intelligent assistant at Mode, with no sense of style.878

Jessica Alba

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At just 13 years old, Jessica Alba made her first appearances on the big screen in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack in 1994.

However, it was her leading role in the television series Dark Angel (2000-2002) that brought her early recognition.

Finally, in 2003 came her big break, her first leading role in the film Honey.

In 2019, she co-starred in the action series L.A’s Finest. Unfortunately, it was canceled in 2020 after only two seasons.

Michelle Rodriguez

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Best Latin and Hispanic actresses / PHOTO: Shutterstock

In 2000, the prototypical bad girl, troubled and tough, started her acting career as… Yes, you guessed it! A troubled bad girl!

Michelle’s breakout role was Anna Wyncomb in Girl Fight. She received critical acclaim and won several awards.

Dom’s first lady in the endless Fast & Furious franchise is among the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.

She was part of the main cast of the second season of Lost, and has won a SAG Award for her solid and captivating performance in this series.

Kate Del Castillo

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Kate del Castillo’s professional acting career developed in stages — first as a telenovela actress in Muchachitas in 1991 in Mexico.

In 2011 she made the leap to La Reina del Sur, for which she received worldwide acclaim.

Now, we step back a bit to fill in the blanks regarding her trajectory in Hollywood. She made her Hollywood debut in the PBS series, American Family in 2007.

In the same year, she also made her debut in American cinema in the film Bordertown. Later, in 2009, she had a recurring role in Weeds. Since then, she has made various appearances in different films and television series.

Ana de Armas

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This Cuban actress has been very frank about the challenges and difficulties she has had to overcome as a Hispanic actress, pointing out her accent as one of them.

In fact, her the persistent stereotypes associated with Latina women in the acting world almost cost her the role in the movie Knives Out (2019), which was really her gateway to success in Hollywood.

She stumbled into the acting world in her native country during her adolescence and emigrated to Spain at the age of 18 where she became part of the main cast of The Boarding School (a very popular drama series).

After moving to Los Angeles, De Armas has had various supporting roles. Currently, she has several projects on the table, including No Time to Die, Deep Wate, and Blonde.

Cameron Diaz

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Cameron Michelle Diaz is a known for playing the vivacious girl next door.

Throughout her career, she has played numerous comedic roles although she has demonstrated her versatility and adaptability as an actress.

In her long and illustrious acting career, she has won several awards.

These include two ALMA Awards, three MTV Movie & TV Awards, an American Comedy Award and four Blockbuster Entertainment awards.

Katy Jurado

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We include the late Katy Jurado on our list of the best Hispanic actresses. Katy Jurado’s extensive career began in Mexico  in 1943.

She made a whopping 70 films throughout her lengthy career. Among her achievements she won Golden Globe for her performance in High Noon (1952) and an Oscar nomination for Broken Lance (1954).

She gained popularity in her home country during the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema for her characterization of the villain and femme fatale in numerous Mexican films.

In 1951, she was discovered by American filmmaker Budd Boetticher and from there began her Hollywood career with The Bullfighter and The Lady. Katy became a regular cast member in Western movies of the 50s and 60s.

Beatriz Michelena was one of the best Hispanic actresses

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It would be negligent on our part not to pay homage to this pioneering actress who laid the groundwork for all the other women on this list.

Beatriz Michelena emerged on the silent film scene as an opera singer. She was one of the few Latin stars privileged enough to appear on the big screen in the 1910s.

She was, without exception, the star of all the films in which she appeared.

After the failure of the California Motion Picture Company, Beatriz, along with her husband, founded their own production company.

Best Hispanic actresses: Sônia Braga

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It is indisputable that Sônia Braga is one of the biggest Brazilian stars in Hollywood.

After establishing herself as a local celebrity with the role of Ana Maria in the children’s series Sesame Street, Braga was invited to join the cast of the telenovela Brothers Courage, gaining even more fame in the Brazilian entertainment world.

In 1975, she starred in the telenovela Gabriela, which was a huge national success. Later, through the Brazilian film Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, she managed to establish herself as a star.

In 1983, she co-starred in the film Gabriela alongside the celebrated Marcello Mastroianni, another step among the many that led her to notoriety. Braga has won three Gramado Film Festival awards, a Fenix award, among others.

Yalitza Aparicio is a surprising young star

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A raw and natural talent if we’ve ever seen one, Yalitza Aparicio arrived on the Hollywood scene with her incredible debut playing Cleo in Roma (2018).

She won an Oscar nomination for her role in the critically acclaimed film by director Alfonso Cuarón!

This leap to instant fame gave her the opportunity to co-present the Latin American Grammy Awards.

Since 2020, she has been part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples. Undoubtedly, we predict great things in her future.

Marina de Tavira

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Marina de Tavira Servitji is a huge star in her native Mexico.

She has worked with the cream of the entertainment industry in Mexico, including Bertold Brecht, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Rodrigo Plá, Carlos Carrera and Alfonso Cuarón.

She was nominated for an Oscar in the category of best-supporting actress for Roma.

Her most recent TV projects include the series Ingobernable on Netflix, and Falco on Amazon under the direction of Ernesto Contreras.

We conclude the list of the best Hispanic actresses with Maribel Verdú

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This Spanish actress has appeared in more than 50 films since her debut in 1984.

Among her most memorable and notable projects are: La Belle Epoque (1992), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Tetro (2009).

She is known for her captivating, high-quality performances. She fully commits and submits to her roles resulting in the magic we glimpse on our screens.

Winner of several awards among them: an Ariel award, two Goya awards, two Ondas awards and two Fotogramas de Plata.

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